."Metal Detecting Dig Day, Berkshire, Limited places! A great day out for beginners or professionals" says the advert...
The site is on approximately 100 acres of previously undetected land close to the Iron Age/ Roman town of Silchester, the search area is very close to the Devils Highway Roman road, with good Iron Age, Roman & Saxon/ Medieval History in the area. .Potential customers are told that search conditions on the day should be easy going and are assured that some fields to which access will be given are under a wheat crop while others are under freshly planted grass. But in addition "there may also be some pasture to search on the day". Pasture eh? Luvverly ridge and furrow or maybe DMV earthworks then? We have met "Hunters Events" before, the guys who set up a business to "provide metal detectorists with well organised professional metal detecting events", using only "land that has had minimal detection, with good history on site and in the surrounding area".
All of our events have included in the price: [...] Finds recording service provided by the Portable Antiquities Scheme's Finds Liaison officers & the Hunters Events finds team.So they are making a contribution to the running of the PAS from the rally ticket money? Or do the tax payers pay for that as usual?
Now I'd like to know more about these "professional" metal detectorists, where do they search in order to make a decent living when they are not going on commercial artefact hunting rallies organized by third parties? How can you be a "professional metal detectorist" anywhere else in Europe apart from England, Scotland and Wales, and what does that tell you about those three countries?
Vignette: Sam Toft, "A Day Out".